5/12/15, "AP Fixes ‘Fracking’ Story with Water Study’s Hidden Conflict of Interest," EnergyInDepth.org, Katie Brown. (EID seeks facts in fracking sector)
"Upon learning that researchers of a recent study, which alleged a link between Marcellus Shale development and groundwater contamination, failed to disclose a significant conflict of interest, the Associated Press today responded by issuing a correction to its coverage. As the Associated Press writes,
“In a story May 4, The Associated Press reported on research that found drilling fluids likely leaked into a drinking water supply in Pennsylvania. The story should have noted that one of the study’s authors, Garth T. Llewellyn, was a consultant for affected homeowners who sued the driller. That information was not included on a pre-publication version of the study provided to reporters by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, but it was later added to the published version.” (emphasis added)The embargoed copy of the report, which was shared widely with reporters on Thursday ahead of its May 4th release, stated in the bottom right hand corner: “The authors declare no conflict of interest.”
Yet, when the study was actually published, that line was replaced with this: “Conflict of interest statement: G.T.L. and Appalachia Consulting provided litigation support and environmental consulting services to the impacted households.”
Here’s a screenshot of the embargoed copy followed by the published text (click to enlarge; see bottom right in each):
This discovery comes just a few weeks after EID testified before the House Science Committee and released a whitepaper detailing how the research used to justify the ban on fracking in New York involved a number of studies that were written or peer reviewed by researchers with undisclosed ties to the political campaign to ban fracking in the state.
Interestingly, anti-fracking activists and their allies in the press have made hay out of a recent study written by researchers at Syracuse University, which they claim didn’t fully disclose its ties to industry. InsideClimate News (ICN) said the Syracuse study should be “called into question because of its methodology and some undisclosed ties” to a natural gas producer. ICN followed up with a new article on the study just last week. Then, the Post-Standard wrote up a piece with the headline:
“Scientific journal: SU prof paid by Chesapeake for pro-fracking study,” which was reposted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Now the question is: will these outlets offer the same scrutiny on this particular failure to disclose?
Additionally, now that the AP has updated its story, will the New York Times, USA Today, International Business Times, and Bloomberg follow suit, since they were similarly misled?" via Junk Science
4/2/15, "Evaluating a groundwater supply contamination incident attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development, pnas.org
- Garth T. Llewellyna,1,Frank Dormanb,J. L. Westlandb,D. Yoxtheimerc,Paul Grievec,Todd Sowersc,E. Humston-Fulmerd, and Susan L. Brantleyc,1
- 1To whom correspondence may be addressed. Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Author contributions:
G.T.L., F.D., D.Y., and S.L.B. designed research; G.T.L., F.D., J.L.W.,
D.Y., P.G., T.S., and S.L.B.
performed research; F.D. contributed
new reagents/analytic tools; G.T.L., F.D., J.L.W., D.Y., P.G., T.S.,
E.H.-F., and S.L.B.
analyzed data; and G.T.L. and S.L.B.
wrote the paper.
This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.
This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1420279112/-/DCSupplemental."."SignificanceNew techniques of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) are now used to unlock oil and gas from rocks with very low permeability. Some members of the public protest against HVHF due to fears that associated compounds could migrate into aquifers. We report a case where natural gas and other contaminants migrated laterally through kilometers of rock at shallow to intermediate depths, impacting an aquifer used as a potable water source. The incident was attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development. The organic contaminants—likely derived from drilling or HVHF fluids—were detected using instrumentation not available in most commercial laboratories. More such incidents must be analyzed and data released publicly so that similar problems can be avoided through use of better management practices.".
5/12/15, "Clarification: Gas Drilling-Water Contamination story," AP
"In a story May 4, The Associated Press reported on research that found drilling fluids likely leaked into a drinking water supply in Pennsylvania. The story should have noted that one of the study's authors, Garth T. Llewellyn, was a consultant for affected homeowners who sued the driller. That information was not included on a pre-publication version of the study provided to reporters by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, but it was later added to the published version."
UPDATE: USA Today joins AP - issues correction on conflict of interest on '#fracking' study http://t.co/6I3n2TNBHZ http://t.co/NNVFxnfPXT
Comment: "A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get it's boots on." Old Proverb. The media once protected the people from government. Now it considers the people the enemy.